About the Simi Valley Area
The city of Simi Valley (from the Chumash word, Shimiyi), is situated in the southeast corner of Ventura County. The city’s 2014 population has been estimated at 126,871, up from 111,351 in 2000. The city of Simi Valley is surrounded by the Santa Susana Mountain range and the Simi Hills, west of the San Fernando Valley, and northeast of the Conejo Valley. It is largely a commuter bedroom community feeding the larger cities in Ventura County to the west and the Los Angeles area and the San Fernando Valley to the east. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the former president was buried following his death in 2004, is in Simi Valley. A study done by the University of Vermont ranked Simi Valley as the fifth-happiest city in the United States. According to crime statistics by the FBI in 2013, Simi Valley is the seventh-safest city in the U.S. with a population of 100,000 or more. The U.S. Census Bureau of 2012 reported a median household income of $87,894, which is higher than the California median of $70,231 and the national average of $62,527.
One of Simi Valley’s most unique features is a happy face that has been faithfully maintained on the side of a hill as you enter Simi Valley from Chatsworth. Recent upgrades include night time lighting.
Simi Valley is home to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which has been visited by more than 1 million people since it opened. President Reagan was buried at the library in June 2004. The library adjoins a hangar in which the Boeing 707 SAM 27000 (Air Force One), which served presidents Nixon through G.W. Bush, is housed and available for tours. In the pavilion are various automobiles used to transport the president, as well as Marine One, the presidential helicopter. The former Corriganville Movie Ranch and its Fort Apache film set, now Corriganville Regional Park, is the Santa Susana Knolls. Many television series were filmed there during the 1950s, such as Richard Carlson’s Mackenzie’s Raiders. Other areas of filming includes Big Sky Ranch, where the Little House on the Prairie was filmed, Poltergeist was filmed on Roxbury Street, and Welcome Danger (1929) and numerous others in Santa Susana.
In popular culture
Given its close proximity to Hollywood, Simi Valley has long been a popular entertainment industry location.
- Simi Valley and the surrounding hills have been the site of several television shows, including the long-running series Gunsmoke and M*A*S*H.
- Many freeway scenes from the TV Show CHiPs were filmed on the 118 in Simi Valley while it was under construction.
- In 1983, Colleen McCullough’s TV mini-series, The Thorn Birds, was brought to life in a remote corner of the Simi Valley.
- The 1986 western comedy film ¡Three Amigos! was partially filmed here.
- The 1982 hit horror film Poltergeist was filmed on Roxbury Street in Simi Valley.
- For the 1992 movie “Sneakers” with Robert Redford, the Gibraltar Savings building was transformed to The Playtronics Toy company.
- Most of the 2003 film adaptation of The Cat in the Hat starring Mike Myers and Dakota Fanning was filmed in Simi Valley.
- In March 2008, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra starting filming in the northern hills above Simi Valley, near the Little House on the Prairie site.
- Scenes in Criminal Minds were filmed in various places in Simi Valley, Including an intersection on Cochran St.
- In the 1984 film "Bachelor Party" starring Tom Hanks, the MANN 6 Movie Theater, formerly located within the Sycamore Shopping Center, was used for the movie theater scene.
- The 1986 western comedy film Three Amigos was partially filmed here.
- The Brandeis-Bardin Institute's House of the Book is the location of the original Power Ranger Power Chamber.
- The delivery of the ransom money in The Big Lebowski shows a highway sign naming Simi Valley.
- The video for Bullet with Butterfly Wings by The Smashing Pumpkins was filmed in Simi Valley.
- In the 2001 comedy Joe Dirt, the character found his long-lost parents in a trailer home park in Simi Valley
- The 1992 children's comedy Honey, I Blew Up the Kid was filmed in and around 676 Coldbrook Pl.
- In the 1992 film Forever Young starring Mel Gibson the test airstrip scenes and the highway chase scene were filmed on the west end of Simi Valley bordering Moorpark.
- Parts of Viva Rock Vegas, the sequel to the original Flintstones movie, was filmed at Rocky Peak.
- The video for "Hexagram," by The Deftones was filmed with fans watching the band play the song in an indoor skatepark in Simi Valley.
- Nu-metal band Limp Bizkit filmed the music video for the single "Break Stuff" at Skatelab, a skate park in Simi Valley.
- G4's American Ninja Warrior competitions hold their "boot camp" in the mountains of Simi Valley.
- Southern California radio station, KROQ, began hosting a "Punk Rock Prom" contest in early 2000 – two of which Simi Valley high schools won back to back. In 2000, Santa Susana High School won with Blink 182 performing at the school. In 2001, co-winners Santa Susana High School and Simi Valley High School won the contest, which was held at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita, CA, with Weezer and The Offspring headlining the event.
According to the City's 2012–13 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
|# ||Employer ||# of Employees |
|1 ||Simi Valley Unified School District ||2,177 |
|2 ||Simi Valley Hospital & Health Care ||832 |
|3 ||City of Simi Valley ||529 |
|4 ||AeroVironment ||465 |
|5 ||Rancho Simi Parks & Recreation District ||408 |
|6 ||Vons Grocery Stores ||354 |
|7 ||Meggitt Safety Systems ||330 |
|8 ||Milgard Manufacturing ||287 |
|9 ||Albertson's ||244 |
|10 ||Polytainer, Inc. ||224 |
A extensive list of Ventura County employers is available here.
Simi Valley is served by the Simi Valley Unified School District (SVUSD).
Santa Susana High School has been named as a silver medal winner in U.S. News & World Report's "Top 500 Schools in America" for 2013 and 2014.
Simi Valley High School was ranked among MSNBC's Top 1,000 High Schools in the country.
Schools of higher education located nearby include Moorpark College, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Channel Islands, California Lutheran University, University of LaVerne, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), Ventura College, Oxnard College, Eternity Bible College, Louis Brandeis Institute of Justice, Pepperdine University, University of Southern California (USC), Caltech, Valley College, American Jewish University, Loyola Marymount University, University of La Verne, and UCLA.
There are five high schools located in Simi Valley: Royal High School, Grace Brethren High School, Santa Susana High School, Simi Valley High School, and Apollo High School (a continuation school).
There are three middle schools located in Simi Valley: Hillside Middle School, Valley View Middle School, and Sinaloa Middle School.
Simi Valley also has an adult school (Simi Adult School) and a cosmetology school.